Are alpacas easy to care for?
They are small and easy to maintain, rarely overeat and require no extraordinary care. They should have basic shelter for protection against heat and foul weather. They do not challenge fences. They simply need shearing, worming, and vaccinations.
What do alpacas eat?
They are ruminants, which means they chew cud like a cow or deer. They survive well on different kinds of low protein hay or pasture grass, providing it has a balanced mineral content. Because alpacas evolved in harsh conditions, they utilize their food more efficiently than other ruminants.
Although they can survive very harsh conditions, alpacas do best on good quality pasture and benefit from having access to plant material with long fibres such as hay.
There are a number of commercial alpaca mixes available, but these are best thought of as supplying vitamins and minerals rather than the bulk feed which is obtained through grazing.
One important rule to remember is to introduce any changes to the diet gradually over a period of a couple of weeks. This way the microbes in the gut have time to adjust to any feed changes.